CineSavant Column

Tuesday March 5, 2024


What with the new Dune 2 out in theaters, ViaVision is offering another special edition Blu-ray set of the first David Lynch Dune from 1984.

This new Blu-ray release is called a ’40th Anniversary Edition’ with some special extras, an extended making-of documentary and a lenticular case cover …

Why consider another copy? … this release contains for the first time a Blu-ray encoding of the Extended TV version, that awkward but rather cool much longer concoction credited to Alan Smithee. It’s got perhaps 35 minutes of additional scenes. Every extra minute takes away some of the curse on the film as ‘a 137-minute trailer.’

Just letting the avid collectors know … my favorite version to watch is still the old 2006 DVD of the Extended TV version. ViaVision’s disc is slated for April 24; here’s their preorder page:

Dune (1984) 3D Lenticular Hardcase Limited Edition


I’ve been enjoying a videoblog series at Trailers from Hell . . . we already like TFH’s extensive The Movies that Made Me podcasts, but lately we’ve been watching Allan Arkush’s talk-to-the-camera Music & Stories storytelling sessions. Besides being a legendary filmmaker, Arkush has a fascinating background in Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Allan’s on-camera talks about his favorite performers, etc., are great, but he’s even more fun when he focuses on his personal life, from grade school forward. I just listened to a piece he recorded in 2018 that he calls My Least Favorite Year. It’s largely a talk about high school, family problems and his personal rebellion issues. Allan uses an engaging show & tell format — he’s always reaching over his shoulder for a record album or a photo of something.

Some of it is filtered through the ’60s films that formed his attitude, like Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and things like taking J.D. Salinger very seriously; crashing and burning in a college interview for Brown. Woven through are stories about his rabid interest in music: The Animals, Bob Dylan, Donovan. Arkush takes his music very seriously, in a good way. He is so enthused, we forget we were interested in the same things at the same age.

He’s just the kind of guy you can listen to for 40 minutes easy … he’s eager to talk about his crazy hobbies, his big mistakes, getting pulled over by the cops, etc. It’s a confessional, ‘The Jersey Chronicles.’ He even finds room to shed a tear over a favorite, encouraging high school teacher.

Allan Arkush connects on a person-to-person basis. Strangely, his ‘Least Favorite Year’ piece is mostly positive (?). I’m now checking out his other Music and Stories videoblogs … chapters on ‘Reckless Youth’ and ‘Israel ’66.’ ¬†Arkush is of course an institution at Trailers from Hell. I recommend him as someone who’ll pick up your spirits.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson